"Girls are like Glass": Situated Knowledges of Syrian Refugee Women on Datafication and Transparency

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter focuses on Syrian refugee women as data subjects in the bureaucratic system of the Dutch immigration services (IND). In an increasingly datafied society many aspects of governance are becoming subject to some form of datafication. The same goes for the decision-making process of the immigration services. Recent research on these processes has mainly focussed on data practices by the European Union in order to protect "Fortress Europe" or use by Syrian refugees themselves of social media and telephone. Media and social research on immigration practices has mainly focussed on inequality and the representation of refugees, in society, in policy-making and in the process of integration.
This chapter combines a top-down perspective (data system) with a bottom-up perspective (data subjects) on the IND’s data system by integrating an analysis of data and information about Syrian refugee women present in the IND system with the experiences of the women that provided the information.
The result is a moving as well as very informative collection of responses, experiences and insights of five Syrian women refugee women who are in, or have been through the IND’s decision-making process and who speak back to the system, producing alternative knowledge and representations to the dominant and mainstream stories of migration and integration in the Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInterrogating Datafication
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a Praxeology of Data
EditorsMarcus Burkhardt, Daniela van Geenen, Carolin Gerlitz, Sam Hind, Timo Kaerlein, Danny Lämmerhirt, Axel Volmar
Place of PublicationBielefeld
PublisherTranscript Verlag
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)978-3-8376-5561-2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022


  • refugee and asylum policies
  • datafication
  • situated knowledge
  • critical data studies


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